What Are We Putting Into Our Bodies?
[Name of the Writer]
[Name of Instructor]
What are we putting into our bodies?
What is the essence of being vegan on yoga practitioners?
The Sanskrit term, Yoga can be traced to "Vedas" that is mentioned in old Indian scriptures, having a prehistoric origin. It is significant to note that there are several assumptions that are made regarding yoga, taking into account that many people think Yoga actually means to yoke and it is not possible if an individual has too many fats in his/ her diet. There is an ongoing debate regarding "yoga" because many of the people think that Yoga has a single goal of enlightenment and it has nothing to do with the diet while others think that there is no way out to address enlightenment without having a strong control on diet. Those who believe that yoga has a direct relationship with diet infers that yoga is a tool for the raising of enlightening and all the yoga practices are actually designed to help individual build compassion because it allows dissolving illusion of otherness. They believe that the stance of compassion that is associated with yoga can also be practiced while having three times meal. Ethical vegetarians eat food that is only made up of plants taking into account that it infers compassion towards animals and other human beings so that the planet can be benefited. However, others think that there is no such obligation, compassion has nothing to do with diet, it is something that is an attribute and no one can gain compassion by relying on certain facts and figures.
In accordance with researchers, there are a number of assumptions that are made for the relationship between a yoga practitioner and a vegetarian. According to Stern, (2019), there is an ethical principle in Yoga that is known as, AHIMSA. It is a Sanskrit term that is actually used in the context of lack of violence and non-harming, taking into account that it serves as one of the major stances that could incorporate the feeling of compassion and sincerity towards the world. (Stern, et, al. 2019). In the book, "The path of the Yoga Sutras", it has been highlighted that Ahimsa is termed as one of the basic five principles of Yama, taking into account that it is an ethical practice that could bring nonhurtfulness toward the other beings in this world. It involves certain facts and figures such as abstaining from the intentional inflicting pain and killing of creatures adhering to the thought of death or no action. In a nutshell, Ahimsa is termed as an attitude that can help a yoga practitioner to strive hard to reduce harm to animals. Vegans and the vegetarians often apply the term Ahimsa, as one of the basis of commitment taking into account that it acts as a stance that could refrain them from consumption of meat. (King, et al. 2018, pp. 12-19). It is believed that the teachers who teach by adhering to Ahimsa are often included in the category of pure vegans because they don't even eat the dairy product as those products are also included in the subcategory of the products meant for non-veg. The same research asserts that yoga has an interaction with the aspects of environment but it doesn't necessarily adhere or highlight the idea of relying on a particular thing for nutrients.
Another research Cramer, (2019), highlights, that Yamas is one of the first ethics that is listed in the code of 8 limbs of yoga and it is more like a guide and reference that justifies the analysis of the eating vegetable only. It is asserted that ‘Hatha Yoga Pradipika" is a literary reading that highlights, one should try to stay away from consuming meat and alcohol although there is no clear justification that is incorporated. It is inferred that Yoga practitioners believe that consuming animal flesh is a tool that infers and add negative personality attributes such as, anger, fear, and lust. (Cramer, et al. 2019, pp. 19-26). It is asserted that the energy from eating animal diet adds to the impurities of the minds and it distracts their mind towards personal tastes and feelings. They believe meat is a precursor that impure human mind and nervous system because the flesh is a hard diet to digest side by side it creates a dull and heavy effect on the mind of a yoga practitioner. Studies from neurologist assert the flesh is not the only type of substance for yoga practitioner; in fact, it blocks the neurons and act as a barrier to the channels that are meant to be open during the yoga practice. It is inferred that whole yoga practice, poses or asana makes an individual feels much natural and light, taking into account an external source of energy. It is highlighted that when an individual fails to feel lights and adhere to the energy source, the outcomes of yoga are mitigated. Lighter food like vegetable not only adds to the strengths of the body but it is also a major tool that can make an individual feel light and they are quickly digested. (Brytek-Matera, et al. 2018, pp. 1-12).
It is important to note that the practice and sequence of yoga practitioners also assert that there are several scenarios in which there is a modification of the sanas that help to avoid such cravings and live a stable life by eating vegetables. It is highlighted that there are a number of credible farmers who are actually raising their own animals and they eat as consciously as the can attempt to. It is inferred that every individual has its own path, provided none of the individuals can be enforced to do something and change the code of conduct by following abstractions. This scenario can be implanted in the “yoga practitioners” who are not vegan and they are still blessed with all the compassion of a pure vegan practitioner. However, another code of information infers that slaughter is one of the most negative connotations in terms of yoga, taking into consideration that it is stated a universal sadness, on the other hand, vegetarianism is personal and every individual has its own choices and desires so there is no compulsion regarding what to eat and what not to eat. (King, et al. 2018, pp. 12-19). This search ended in a beam balance where both the paradigm are given equal importance adhering to the fact that none of the paradigms could be negated however relying on a stance involves a strong belief and restriction to the code of conduct and principles. A research that was conducted in America, addressing yoga and diet highlights that adhering to a yoga perspective behooves to say that, the purpose of food is to help and assist a human body to cleanse, repair and strengthen the immune system because a traditional yoga diet is highly concerned with the revitalization of the human body. (Neumann, et, al. 2019, pp. 65-101).
The aim of yoga is to create both, immunal stance and empower spirituality, asserting a causal yoga diet that is restricted to plant-based foods because plants are eaten in their natural state. In accordance with the research, a survey study inferred that there is a great connection between the perspective that is associated with yoga practitioners and the vegans in America because there are a number of people who aim at creating physical benefits of asana while exploiting and ignoring the actual stance of philosophy that incorporates compassion named as spirituality. It is asserted that Yoga is not confined to the realms of body maintenance where maintaining shape and losing weight is the key objective; in fact there is a complete history behind practicing yoga. The underlying principles of yoga highlight certain basic principles such as, eating food that is both healthy and light, taking into account that food is also treated as a tool that can incorporate passion towards otherness, by adhering to positive vibes. (Stern, et, al. 2019). It would not be wrong to say that the core of study inferred an analysis of the fact and figures that are then termed as the precursors of both diseases and the sufferings that can contribute to negative aspects of life and then death. Although both the paradigms were justified, still the aim of the research was to assert the negative impacts that are associated with the consumption of flesh and meat taking into account that there are several negatives both mental and physical those are correlated with non-vegan diet.
In order to analyze the stance of "Yoga and Vegan diet," I conducted primary research. I planned to gather set of interviews, taking into account that the interview would be conducted by both general public and the yoga practitioners without knowing either they are purely vegan or they prefer non-vegan diet as well. I prepared 5 questions that were to be asked from each of the interviewees. I reached a nearby Yoga center where there were three Yoga practitioners as well as another Yoga center where I get in touch with two yoga practitioners. I decided two days for each of the yoga centers and interviews were conducted. Before conducting an interview of the practitioner and formulate any strong basis of the decision, I preferred to ask my class fellow and other people first. I observed that among ten participants, three were new to the concept of “vegan” and “non vegan” diet in terms of yoga. They were totally new to the concept of importance of the type of diet in yoga but they were practicing yoga with some online sources, they don’t have any physical tutor. However, the other seven participants were of diverse view. I observed that there was a conflicting situation in the minds of the interviewee. Two of the participants think that there is no role of diet in inferring the stance of yoga and attaining spirituality while the other four think that if someone is practicing Yoga then he/she must abide by the rules and regulation. They were of the view that eating a vegetarian diet is associated with one of the eight basic principles of yoga and there are several paradigms that are associated with the consumption of a non-vegan diet. However, when I get in touch with the yoga practitioners at the yoga center, I underwent different perceptions. The practitioner of the center near my locality inferred that both the things are valid, taking into account the circumstances. They usually don’t impose such restriction regarding diet, taking into account that the aim of food is to provide nutrients and animals are also the creation of the spiritual power so, how can an individual restrict and design the schedule of consumption for another individual. It was more added that they do incorporate instructions regarding the eating of meat, that meat should not be eaten in the morning however; they can have meat in lunch. One of the practitioners added that milk is one of the healthiest diets that can give massive strength with a lighter tone. I was much impressed with the details they provided; taking into account that this work is created for human beings, in order to fulfill their necessities.
A session of interviews with other Yoga practitioner center highlighted that Yoga is more like an approach that infers catharsis and analysis of human conduct. It was highlighted that an individual has to adhere to the religious discourse that is associated with yoga. Teachings of religion infer that Yoga is meant for the maintenance of body by adhering to spirituality. According to them, spirituality is something for which people leave all their necessities and regulation taking into account that it requires a code of restriction. One of the practitioners highlighted that there is a complete code of background information that is associated with the “stance of diet” because meat is something that has a heavy influence, it is neither easily digested nor it is something that is associated to spirituality because meat is obtained by slaughtering animals. The slaughtering and cutting of animals have a direct relation with negative connotations because nature never believes in actions that suggest killing someone. It is highlighted that spirituality is "natural" it should be something that feeds on "natural products" which includes vegetables. There were certain other arguments that asserted that human have to be answerable for all their actions and doings in this world. Life is a test and trail, tests are never supposed to be easy. Life imposes certain limitations that refrain people from choices as one of the limitations.
It is asserted that the practitioner presented logics that were more dependent and derived from religious teachings where it is asserted that an individual who seeks spirituality should stay out of the circle of desires. It is the only way that can allow a man to direct his life in accordance with the set rules and regulations. They think if a man cannot restrain himself from the worldly desires than there is no way out to achieve spirituality and code of conduct. In a nutshell, they were of the view that there is no spirituality without abiding by the rules of religious teachings and adhering to the rules of tradition that is set by yoga practitioners. They concluded by saying that vegan diet is an actual lighter stance that can fulfill the goals of yoga, such as, peace of mind, by negating violence, incorporating health to both mind and body, side by side it is an actual approach towards natural essence.
After an analysis of facts that are gathered from both primary and secondary research, it can be incorporated that there are different paradigms that are associated with a vegan diet and spirituality, However, an analysis and collection of results reveal that there is a greater ratio of people and practitioner who are of the view that yoga practitioner should take vegan diet only and they should try to abide by the rules of yoga that are already decided to adhere to the code imparted by history. Although the other paradigm is also valid but it seems less appropriate as compared to the former argument because there is no stance that can negate religious teachings and the implication of the historical attempts. So it can be therefore inferred that Yoga practitioners should restrain themselves to a vegan diet because it is one of the characteristics that would lead them to spirituality and differentiate from others.
Brytek-Matera, Anna, et al. "Strict health-oriented eating patterns (orthorexic eating behaviors) and their connection with a vegetarian and vegan diet." Eating and Weight Disorders-Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia, and Obesity (2018): 1-12.
Cramer, Holger, et al. "Associations of yoga practice, health status, and health behavior among yoga practitioners in Germany—Results of a national cross-sectional survey." Complementary therapies in medicine 42 (2019): 19-26.
King, Lachlan, et al. "Clinical reasoning in osteopathy: Experiences of novice and experienced practitioners." International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine 28 (2018): 12-19.
Neumann, Dave J. "Development of Body, Mind, and Soul:" Paramahansa Yogananda's Marketing of Yoga-Based Religion." Religion and American Culture 29.1 (2019): 65-101.
Stern, Eddie. One Simple Thing: A New Look at the Science of Yoga and how it Can Transform Your Life. North Point Press, 2019.
McCartney, Patrick. "SPIRITUAL BYPASS AND ENTANGLEMENT IN YOGALAND (योगस्तान): HOW NEOLIBERALISM, SOFT HINDUTVA, AND BANAL NATIONALISM FACILITATE YOGA FUNDAMENTALISM." Politics and Religion Journal 13.1 (2019): 137-175.
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